IF a man walks in the woods for the love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.’

THOREAU, 1853

I read these words last night, in a book about, or of, silence. They made me think.

And then this morning I awoke to the perfect beauty of a winter mountain landscape. The clouds of the last days lifted to reveal a perfect winter day. The mountains were cloaked in a thick coat of fresh snow, the summits lay stark against a sky so blue. The depth of intensity gave a beauty that was almost so sharp that you might wonder if it could tear. And if it did, what would it rip apart?

A day to be treasured, but just a day as any other, as if to remind us that every day is a treasure. Otherwise what are we for? Even when it is hard, even when it is gloomy, even when everything does seem to be ripping apart?

For me now, balancing work and play, training and pleasure – sometimes hard to make the right decisions for the long term, to know where to be, to know how to live, to know what to make my life work. But for this day I’m happy to be running again, training with ski alpinism and langlauf too… Perhaps it doesn’t matter so much what we are doing if we remember that maybe, just maybe Thoreau is right. Whatever we are doing must be only for the love of it, the true love of it, else we will be making the earth bald before her time?

Advertisements